Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ottawa Javascript Rolls Again

The Ottawa Javascript group emerged from hibernation to hold our first meetup of the year at TheCodeFactory on April 11th.  Here's a followup that I posted to the Ottawa Javascript Google group.

Thanks to Jon Abrams and Simon Kaegi who stepped in last night with a couple of impromptu demo's. Ben also sends his apologies for not being able to make it. I know lots of people were looking forward to the WebGL / Javascript demo so hopefully we will get him to come next time and demo something.

First of all Jon put together a great little web application that you can check out at http://wiqr.herokuapp.com/

Jon went into fairly low-level detail that provided some interesting points of discussion. One particularly good point was the use of environment variables to hold things that you don't want to (or shouldn't) hard-code, like database passwords or keys.

For newcomers it's easy to feel inundated by all the unfamiliar pieces when first looking at a node application. I recommend for people interested in the Express framework, check out the screencasts at http://expressjs.com/screencasts.html

For people who want a dead-simple introduction to node, I have a little blog post here that might be useful. http://51elliot.blogspot.ca/2011/07/simple-intro-to-nodejs-modules.html

Redis is a very popular database that's becoming a favorite among the NodeJS crowd. For a good introduction to it, check out http://try.redis-db.com

Finally Simon Kaegi's demo of the Orion development environment was a great example of how advanced web-based applications are becoming. If you missed it you can check out the Orion project here: http://www.eclipse.org/orion/

Dan L, Owain and Simon K volunteered to help with the planning and organization so the next meetup should be a good one. If you're interested in presenting something please drop one of us a line.

Some ideas are:
  • walk through the "try mongo", "try redis" or similar tutorial as a group, taking questions as we go 
  • show off a cool web application or technology that you found interesting and have a discussion around it 
  • demo your weekend project to a friendly group and get some feedback
I recommend we keep presentations to around 20 minutes max with 5-10
minutes at the end for questions. Feel free to make suggestions for future meetups, too.

Thanks again everyone.

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